Client Highlight: BBA Aviation plc

Client Highlight: BBA Aviation plc

BBA’s acquisition of Landmark Aviation showcases S&C’s cross-border M&A capabilities and the benefits of having tightly integrated M&A and antitrust teams.

On February 5, S&C client BBA Aviation plc (BBA) completed its acquisition of Landmark Aviation from affiliates of The Carlyle Group, in a transaction valued at $2.065 billion.

BBA, based in London, provides a wide range of aviation support services. Under its Signature Flight Support brand, BBA operates a network of fixed base operations (FBOs) for private and business aircraft in the United States and other countries. With its acquisition of Landmark Aviation, BBA now has the largest network of FBOs in the world.

Working hand-in-hand with S&C’s M&A team, the Firm’s antitrust team persuaded the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to clear the transaction despite what appeared, at first blush, to be a highly concentrated business. S&C’s antitrust team engaged proactively with the DOJ and responded quickly to the DOJ’s requests for information. Taking a practical approach to the competition issues presented, S&C’s antitrust team was able to get the transaction cleared—with an agreement to divest six FBOs after closing—in just over four months. Throughout the process, S&C’s antitrust team was attuned to business and financing issues presented by the transaction and worked in tandem with the M&A team to achieve its client’s objectives.

This transaction is another example of the ability of S&C’s antitrust team to obtain merger clearances in high-profile transactions in a broad range of industries. Other recent examples include Kraft Food Group’s $55.0 billion acquisition by H.J. Heinz and ACE’s $29.5 billion acquisition of Chubb.